On London’s Southbank
For culture and culinary artistry, I could not think of a better place to start than on London’s famous Southbank and Bankside. Stretching from the London Eye to Tower Bridge, a two-mile promenade leads its visitors along the riverside of the city centre, packing in an incredible amount of attractions along the way. Working up an appetite could not be more fun. Enjoy the sounds of crooning street buskers and talented performers; and find your preferred pastime with a vintage book market, food markets and rows of popular restaurants, or the Southbank Centre showcasing art, theatre, dance, creative festival events and more. Head towards Bankside, and you can stir your creative juices at the Tate Modern, or brush up on your Shakespeare at The Globe Theatre. And the list goes on and on.
When you start to feel a little peckish, it is worth a visit to the jewel in the Southbank’s culinary crown: London’s Borough Market. Steeped in history, the cobbled lanes and old time building facades will give you a historical peek into how the street traders of old went about their business. Nowadays, you will find the place bursting with colors, textures, tastes, aromas and vibes; with each trader paying passionate attention to the quality and provenance of the food they provide. Not only can you fill your shopping basket with outstanding British and international produce (the cheese selection alone is amazing), but it also boasts a lunch market with stall after artisanal stall offering freshly prepared dishes inspired by traditions all around the world. Honestly, you will probably circle the place three times before you make a decision.
Try a chorizo and rocket roll at the Brindisa stall, made with high quality imported Spanish ingredients. Breathe in the aromas of authentic Thai street food at the Khanom Krok. Choose a delicious vegetarian dish inspired by an Egyptian street food recipe - rice, lentils and vermicelli spruced up with spicy tomato sauce and topped off with caramelized onions and chickpeas. A popular choice is the scotch eggs and sweet potato fries from Scotchtails. A perfectly cooked egg, encased in a generous portion of your choice of pulled pork (ginger pig, black pudding, chorizo or lamb and mint) and encrusted in a perfectly warm and crispy breaded shell – a top quality take on a classic favorite. Curries, paellas and more… the selection is vast, and I have not even mentioned the artisan drinks and delicious cakes and desserts also available.
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Any local Londoner is no stranger to the pleasures of gourmet street food – and we are talking really good food. A great day out is just not complete without indulging in something delicious. Variety is king here, as the city is a melting pot of cultures that hail from all corners of the globe, creating amazingly educated palates. So, for food lovers who find themselves in the motley capital that is London, an adventure of tastes like this simply cannot be missed.
Of course, you should not simply take my word for it – stop by and discover this foodie treasure for yourself. Southbank: www.southbanklondon.com Borough Market: www.boroughmarket.org.uk